CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Christian Wilhlemsson #9 of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Jeff Larentowicz #4 of the Colorado Rapids vie for the ball in the first half during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on September 14, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
The good news is that we can finally stop writing those ridiculous OMG PLAYOFFS articles. I mean, technically the team isn't mathematically eliminated yet but this should be the loss that puts it beyond all doubt. Basically, the only way they make it in now is if both Dallas and Vancouver lose all of their remaining games while the Rapids win all of them.
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that scenario doesn't look likely.
This was another one of those games that showed Oscar Pareja starting to get some semblance of tactical skill while not being quite there yet. He made a bold decision to start the exact same lineup as the one that took apart the Portland Timbers. The problem was, it was the exact same lineup. Akpan and Cascio up top? Good idea considering the chemistry they showed last time. Hendry Thomas in the midfield? An obvious choice. Tyrone Marshall at center back? Eeeh, not so much.
LA can put together a hell of a passing game if you let them, and oh my did the Rapids let them. The midfield was fairly stout, but LA played very quick on the counter attack quite often, which led to a lot of speedy plays through the Rapids defense. If there's one thing that doesn't go with Tyrone Marshall, it's speedy plays through the defense. The first goal came when Robbie Keane ran past Marshall at what looked like the speed of light off a great pass from Landon Donovan. Most keepers don't stop Robbie Keane one-on-one like that.
The spastic defending continued through the first half, though it did start to settle down a bit the longer the game went along. That was partially the Rapids defense settling down and partially the Galaxy deciding to play a slower passing game, but it was something.
It was a typical first half for the Rapids this season. They put a lot of shots up, but none that were particularly dangerous. They allowed a goal on a terrible defensive lapse.
A second defensive lapse was added onto the record quite quickly after the second half resumed. Another launched ball forward by the Galaxy found Christian Wilhelmsson and some confusion between Luis Zapata and Marvell Wynne left him wide open. His shot wasn't the best and Matt Pickens probably could have done a bit better on it, but it was in the back of the net nonetheless. That's the kind of goal the Rapids have been giving up all year but can't seem to earn for themselves.
Other than a great chance late on by Conor Casey that got blocked, that was essentially all she wrote for this one.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Uh, I guess we give it to Matt Pickens by default these days? Tony Cascio was having a fine game as well until he was forced out with an injury.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Marshall and Zapata both had bad days at the office.